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Governor Announces Major Economic Impact Concept for Fort McPherson

Tuesday, September 11, 2007  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Local Redevelopment Authority Votes on Final Proposal for Army


ATLANTA – State and local officials, led by Governor Sonny Perdue, Mayor Shirley Franklin of Atlanta, Mayor Joseph Macon of East Point and Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves, today outlined and confirmed their commitment to visionary economic-impact plans for future re-use of the Fort McPherson property located in Southwest Atlanta. 

Following a meeting of the McPherson Planning Local Redevelopment Authority (MPLRA), Governor Perdue announced that as part of the MPLRA proposal to the Army for the redevelopment of the Fort McPherson property, the state of Georgia is seeking for the Army to convey, at no cost, an approximately 115-acre parcel of the Fort McPherson property for the purpose of creating a scientific research park. 

“The creation of a scientific research park in Georgia will provide significant economic development for the state of Georgia for decades to come,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.  “The state of Georgia’s commitment to develop a research park will help enhance a location that may otherwise be negatively impacted by the loss of the Fort McPherson military community.” 

According to state and local officials, the state’s commitment to develop a portion of the Fort McPherson site as a scientific research park will drastically enhance the value of the remaining parcels of the Fort McPherson site to be sold by the Army, justifying the state’s receipt of the research site parcel for no cost.

If approved by the Army, the research park will be developed by a task force including the Board of Regents, local governmental entities and private partners.  The proposed research park will be ideally located within the footprint of Fort McPherson, just miles from Georgia’s world-class public research institutions, private research institutions and the main campus of the Centers for Disease Control.

The research park will be developed as an urban mixed-use work/live/learn/play science and research park for interdisciplinary research and technology transfer in partnership with Georgia research institutions and private partners.  The Centers for Disease Control have expressed interest in participating in the exploratory discussions regarding a research park at Fort McPherson that could include the CDC and other Georgia academic and health institutions.

The concept for the research park is based on other successful precedents set by other universities, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Princeton Forrestal Center in Princeton, New Jersey and the Research Triangle Park in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina."

 Fort McPherson is being closed under the federal government’s Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) of 2005. Effective Nov. 9, 2005, the Base Closure and Realignment Commission voted to close Fort McPherson, the 487-acre military base.  Fort McPherson will be vacated by the U.S. Army in 2011.

"We are pleased to join with the state of Georgia and the cities of Atlanta and East Point, along with Fulton County, in this exciting redevelopment opportunity,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Erroll Davis. “The University System can utilize its significant intellectual capital assets towards the creation of a research park on the Ft. McPherson property. Such a research park will strengthen ongoing efforts to attract high tech operations to Georgia.”

"This is an important redevelopment project for Atlanta, East Point, Fulton and the state and that is why we have been actively engaged in the planning process along the way,” said Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.  “This multi-jurisdictional effort ensures that the redevelopment plan will serve the needs of all of our communities--and I think that makes it a win-win.”

Also today, the MPLRA, created by the city of Atlanta to oversee the re-use planning process, approved its final draft redevelopment land-use proposal for submission to the U.S. Army and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The action meets a significant requirement in the ongoing planning process for transfer of the site to community stakeholders.

The Re-Use Plan, which will include the state’s newly announced use for the site and reflects 21 months of broad community input regarding Fort McPherson’s future, was approved by the MPLRA Board of Directors. It will be formally submitted by Sept. 22 for review and assessment by federal authorities under their process and transfer regulations for base closures.

“Fort McPherson has been a valuable resource to the United States Army, the citizens of Fulton County and the entire nation,” said Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves.  “It is quite fitting that its closure will bring affordable housing, employment and green space to our community.”

“Today’s announcement is a major milestone for those of us who have been working diligently and collectively on a final re-use plan,” said East Point Mayor Joseph L. Macon. “We have been committed to this project from the very beginning.  Fort McPherson has always been a great partner to the city of East Point and the city of Atlanta.  The creation of a scientific research park is only fitting as a legacy of this great collaboration between our respective entities.  A scientific research park will have a major economic impact upon the city of East Point and the city of Atlanta.  It is noteworthy that we were able to develop a plan that would also have a major economic impact upon the entire state of Georgia, as well.  We are very pleased to support and participate in this wonderful announcement today.”

  “Today’s announcement by the Governor and our local elected leaders of their long-term vision for Fort McPherson further reinforces the incredible opportunity that this property’s re-use represents -- not only for our local and Metro area residents but for all citizens of Georgia to benefit from economically,” said Felker Ward, Jr., Chairman of the Board of the MPLRA.  “These officials’ shared commitment to the renewal and future of Fort McPherson, through this re-use plan, marks another key milestone for the process that we’ve undertaken on behalf of our community.”

The detailed Re-Use Plan proposal calls for rezoning by the city of Atlanta and a partnership with private developers, the state of Georgia and the city of East Point to create 150 acres of green space, with 30 acres set aside for a festival and event grounds. The future site may also feature up to 4,600 homes, four million square feet of office space and 400,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.

Specifically, in addition to the state of Georgia and University-related components outlined by Governor Perdue and Chancellor Davis today, the Re-use Plan approved Tuesday features:

  • A high-density, mixed-use retail district of roughly 35 acres along Lee Street and set inside the boundaries of the Fort to create a “main street” district;
  • A historic district comprised of an approximately 40-acre assemblage of buildings on the National Historic Register. This area will maintain its historic character and will be developed for residential, commercial and public uses under a cultural theme;
  • Other areas that will become home to 4,600 new units of residential housing;
  • The property’s centerpiece, a linear park that encompasses the entire property, stretching from a MARTA station on the north to a MARTA station on the south. This green space will be dominated by old-growth trees, paths and bike trails; and
  • Approximately 30 acres created for special events and festivals. A signature open space – now a parade ground -- will be maintained as it exists today for use as public space.


Fort McPherson is being closed under the federal government’s Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) of 2005. Effective Nov. 9, 2005, the Base Closure and Realignment Commission voted to close Fort McPherson.  Army officials are responsible for completing closure planning, conducting inventories and assessing potential reuse strategies.  The Army standing-down process must begin within two years and be completed by 2011, which is within six years of the Nov. 9 start date for the process.

About MPLRA:

Established in 2005, the McPherson Planning Local Redevelopment Authority (MPLRA) received official Department of Defense recognition as the single entity responsible for identifying local redevelopment needs and preparing a comprehensive redevelopment plan for Fort McPherson. The Authority serves as the primary link between the DoD, the installation, the community and federal and state agencies for all base closure matters. 

For more information about the Fort McPherson redevelopment process, visit or contact the MPLRA at (404) 614-8318.